Open AccessArticle
Biodegradable FeMnSi Sputter-Coated Macroporous Polypropylene Membranes for the Sustained Release of Drugs
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 155; doi:10.3390/nano7070155 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Pure Fe and FeMnSi thin films were sputtered on macroporous polypropylene (PP) membranes with the aim to obtain biocompatible, biodegradable and, eventually, magnetically-steerable platforms. Room-temperature ferromagnetic response was observed in both Fe- and FeMnSi-coated membranes. Good cell viability was observed in both cases
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Pure Fe and FeMnSi thin films were sputtered on macroporous polypropylene (PP) membranes with the aim to obtain biocompatible, biodegradable and, eventually, magnetically-steerable platforms. Room-temperature ferromagnetic response was observed in both Fe- and FeMnSi-coated membranes. Good cell viability was observed in both cases by means of cytotoxicity studies, though the FeMnSi-coated membranes showed higher biodegradability than the Fe-coated ones. Various strategies to functionalize the porous platforms with transferrin-Alexa Fluor 488 (Tf-AF488) molecules were tested to determine an optimal balance between the functionalization yield and the cargo release. The distribution of Tf-AF488 within the FeMnSi-coated PP membranes, as well as its release and uptake by cells, was studied by confocal laser scanning microscopy. A homogeneous distribution of the drug within the membrane skeleton and its sustained release was achieved after three consecutive impregnations followed by the addition of a layer made of gelatin and maltodextrin, which prevented exceedingly fast release. The here-prepared organic-inorganic macroporous membranes could find applications as fixed or magnetically-steerable drug delivery platforms. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterisation of the Chemical Composition and Structural Features of Novel Antimicrobial Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 152; doi:10.3390/nano7070152 -
Abstract
Three antimicrobial nanoparticle types (AMNP0, AMNP1, and AMNP2) produced using the TesimaTM thermal plasma technology were investigated and their compositions were determined using a combination of analytical methods. Scanning electron micrographs provided the morphology of these particles with observed sizes ranging from
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Three antimicrobial nanoparticle types (AMNP0, AMNP1, and AMNP2) produced using the TesimaTM thermal plasma technology were investigated and their compositions were determined using a combination of analytical methods. Scanning electron micrographs provided the morphology of these particles with observed sizes ranging from 10 to 50 nm, whilst FTIR spectra confirmed the absence of polar bonds and organic impurities, and strong Raman active vibrational bands at ca. 1604 and 1311 cm−1 ascribed to C–C vibrational motions were observed. Carbon signals that resonated at δC 126 ppm in the solid state NMR spectra confirmed that sp2 hybridised carbons were present in high concentration in two of the nanoparticle types (AMNP1 and AMNP2). X-ray powder diffraction suggested that AMNP0 contains single phase Tungsten carbide (WC) in a high state of purity and multiple phases of WC/WC1-x were identified in both AMNP1 and AMNP2. Finally, X-ray photoelectron spectral (XPS) analyses revealed and quantified the elemental ratios in these composite formulations. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Electrosome: A Surface-Displayed Enzymatic Cascade in a Biofuel Cell’s Anode and a High-Density Surface-Displayed Biocathodic Enzyme
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 153; doi:10.3390/nano7070153 -
Abstract
The limitation of surface-display systems in biofuel cells to a single redox enzyme is a major drawback of hybrid biofuel cells, resulting in a low copy-number of enzymes per yeast cell and a limitation in displaying enzymatic cascades. Here we present the electrosome,
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The limitation of surface-display systems in biofuel cells to a single redox enzyme is a major drawback of hybrid biofuel cells, resulting in a low copy-number of enzymes per yeast cell and a limitation in displaying enzymatic cascades. Here we present the electrosome, a novel surface-display system based on the specific interaction between the cellulosomal scaffoldin protein and a cascade of redox enzymes that allows multiple electron-release by fuel oxidation. The electrosome is composed of two compartments: (i) a hybrid anode, which consists of dockerin-containing enzymes attached specifically to cohesin sites in the scaffoldin to assemble an ethanol oxidation cascade, and (ii) a hybrid cathode, which consists of a dockerin-containing oxygen-reducing enzyme attached in multiple copies to the cohesin-bearing scaffoldin. Each of the two compartments was designed, displayed, and tested separately. The new hybrid cell compartments displayed enhanced performance over traditional biofuel cells; in the anode, the cascade of ethanol oxidation demonstrated higher performance than a cell with just a single enzyme. In the cathode, a higher copy number per yeast cell of the oxygen-reducing enzyme copper oxidase has reduced the effect of competitive inhibition resulting from yeast oxygen consumption. This work paves the way for the assembly of more complex cascades using different enzymes and larger scaffoldins to further improve the performance of hybrid cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synergistic Effect of MoS2 and SiO2 Nanoparticles as Lubricant Additives for Magnesium Alloy–Steel Contacts
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 154; doi:10.3390/nano7070154 -
Abstract
The tribological performances of the SiO2/MoS2 hybrids as lubricant additives were explored by a reciprocating ball-on-flat tribometer for AZ31 magnesium alloy/AISI 52100 bearing steel pairs. The results demonstrated that the introduction of SiO2/MoS2 hybrids into the base
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The tribological performances of the SiO2/MoS2 hybrids as lubricant additives were explored by a reciprocating ball-on-flat tribometer for AZ31 magnesium alloy/AISI 52100 bearing steel pairs. The results demonstrated that the introduction of SiO2/MoS2 hybrids into the base oil exhibited a significant reduction in the friction coefficient and wear volume as well as an increase in load bearing capacity, which was better than the testing results of the SiO2 or MoS2 nanolubricants. Specifically, the addition of 0.1 wt % nano-SiO2 mixed with 1.0 wt % nano-MoS2 into the base oil reduced the friction coefficient by 21.8% and the wear volume by 8.6% compared to the 1.0 wt % MoS2 nanolubricants. The excellent lubrication behaviors of the SiO2/MoS2 hybrid nanolubricants can be explained by the micro-cooperation of different nanoparticles with disparate morphology and lubrication mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mesoporous Silica Matrix as a Tool for Minimizing Dipolar Interactions in NiFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4 Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(7), 151; doi:10.3390/nano7070151 -
Abstract
NiFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4 nanoparticles have been prepared encased in the MCM (Mobile Composition of Matter) type matrix. Their magnetic behavior has been studied and compared with that corresponding to particles of the same composition and of a
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NiFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4 nanoparticles have been prepared encased in the MCM (Mobile Composition of Matter) type matrix. Their magnetic behavior has been studied and compared with that corresponding to particles of the same composition and of a similar size (prepared and embedded in amorphous silica or as bare particles). This study has allowed elucidation of the role exerted by the matrix and interparticle interactions in the magnetic behavior of each ferrite system. Thus, very different superparamagnetic behavior has been found in ferrite particles of similar size depending on the surrounding media. Also, the obtained results clearly provide evidence of the vastly different magnetic behavior for each ferrite system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Ce- and La-Doped Li4Ti5O12 Nanosheets and Their Electrochemical Performance in Li Half Cell and Li4Ti5O12/LiFePO4 Full Cell Batteries
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 150; doi:10.3390/nano7060150 -
Abstract
This work reports on the synthesis of rare earth-doped Li4Ti5O12 nanosheets with high electrochemical performance as anode material both in Li half and Li4Ti5O12/LiFePO4 full cell batteries. Through the combination of
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This work reports on the synthesis of rare earth-doped Li4Ti5O12 nanosheets with high electrochemical performance as anode material both in Li half and Li4Ti5O12/LiFePO4 full cell batteries. Through the combination of decreasing the particle size and doping by rare earth atoms (Ce and La), Ce and La doped Li4Ti5O12 nanosheets show the excellent electrochemical performance in terms of high specific capacity, good cycling stability and excellent rate performance in half cells. Notably, the Ce-doped Li4Ti5O12 shows good electrochemical performance as anode in a full cell which LiFePO4 was used as cathode. The superior electrochemical performance can be attributed to doping as well as the nanosized particle, which facilitates transportation of the lithium ion and electron transportation. This research shows that the rare earth doped Li4Ti5O12 nanosheets can be suitable as a high rate performance anode material in lithium-ion batteries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant Potential and Antibacterial Efficiency of Caffeic Acid-Functionalized ZnO Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 148; doi:10.3390/nano7060148 -
Abstract
We report a novel zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticle with antioxidant properties, prepared by immobilizing the antioxidant 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-propenoic acid (caffeic acid, CA) on the surfaces of micro-dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma-treated ZnO nanoparticles. The microstructure and physical properties of ZnO@CA nanoparticles were characterized by
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We report a novel zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticle with antioxidant properties, prepared by immobilizing the antioxidant 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-propenoic acid (caffeic acid, CA) on the surfaces of micro-dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma-treated ZnO nanoparticles. The microstructure and physical properties of ZnO@CA nanoparticles were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), infrared spectroscopy, and steady state spectroscopic methods. The antioxidant activity of ZnO@CA nanoparticles was evaluated using an ABTS (3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical cation decolorization assay. ZnO@CA nanoparticles exhibited robust antioxidant activity. Moreover, ZnO@CA nanoparticles showed strong antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) including resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus and against Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli). Although Gram-negative bacteria appeared to be more resistant to ZnO@CA nanoparticles than Gram-positive bacteria, the antibacterial activity of ZnO@CA nanoparticles was dependent on particle concentration. The antioxidant and antibacterial activity of ZnO@CA may be useful for various biomedical and nanoindustrial applications. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Recyclable Cu-MOF-74 Catalyst for the Ligand-Free O-Arylation Reaction of 4-Nitrobenzaldehyde and Phenol
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 149; doi:10.3390/nano7060149 -
Abstract
The activity and recyclability of Cu-MOF-74 as a catalyst was studied for the ligand-free C–O cross-coupling reaction of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde (NB) with phenol (Ph) to form 4-formyldiphenyl ether (FDE). Cu-MOF-74 is characterized by having unsaturated copper sites in a highly porous metal-organic framework. The
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The activity and recyclability of Cu-MOF-74 as a catalyst was studied for the ligand-free C–O cross-coupling reaction of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde (NB) with phenol (Ph) to form 4-formyldiphenyl ether (FDE). Cu-MOF-74 is characterized by having unsaturated copper sites in a highly porous metal-organic framework. The influence of solvent, reaction temperature, NB/Ph ratio, catalyst concentration, and basic agent (type and concentration) were evaluated. High conversions were achieved at 120 °C, 5 mol % of catalyst, NB/Ph ratio of 1:2, DMF as solvent, and 1 equivalent of K2CO3 base. The activity of Cu-MOF-74 material was higher than other ligand-free copper catalytic systems tested in this study. This catalyst was easily separated and reused in five successive runs, achieving a remarkable performance without significant porous framework degradation. The leaching of copper species in the reaction medium was negligible. The O-arylation between NB and Ph took place only in the presence of Cu-MOF-74 material, being negligible without the solid catalyst. The catalytic advantages of using nanostructured Cu-MOF-74 catalyst were also proven. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
ZnO Nano-Rod Devices for Intradermal Delivery and Immunization
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 147; doi:10.3390/nano7060147 -
Abstract
Intradermal delivery of antigens for vaccination is a very attractive approach since the skin provides a rich network of antigen presenting cells, which aid in stimulating an immune response. Numerous intradermal techniques have been developed to enhance penetration across the skin. However, these
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Intradermal delivery of antigens for vaccination is a very attractive approach since the skin provides a rich network of antigen presenting cells, which aid in stimulating an immune response. Numerous intradermal techniques have been developed to enhance penetration across the skin. However, these methods are invasive and/or affect the skin integrity. Hence, our group has devised zinc oxide (ZnO) nano-rods for non-destructive drug delivery. Chemical vapour deposition was used to fabricate aligned nano-rods on ZnO pre-coated silicon chips. The nano-rods’ length and diameter were found to depend on the temperature, time, quality of sputtered silicon chips, etc. Vertically aligned ZnO nano-rods with lengths of 30–35 µm and diameters of 200–300 nm were selected for in vitro human skin permeation studies using Franz cells with Albumin-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) absorbed on the nano-rods. Fluorescence and confocal studies on the skin samples showed FITC penetration through the skin along the channels formed by the nano-rods. Bradford protein assay on the collected fluid samples indicated a significant quantity of Albumin-FITC in the first 12 h. Low antibody titres were observed with immunisation on Balb/c mice with ovalbumin (OVA) antigen coated on the nano-rod chips. Nonetheless, due to the reduced dimensions of the nano-rods, our device offers the additional advantage of excluding the simultaneous entrance of microbial pathogens. Taken together, these results showed that ZnO nano-rods hold the potential for a safe, non-invasive, and painless intradermal drug delivery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Sensitive Magnetic-SERS Dual-Function Silica Nanoprobes for Effective On-Site Organic Chemical Detection
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 146; doi:10.3390/nano7060146 -
Abstract
We report magnetic silver nanoshells (M-AgNSs) that have both magnetic and SERS properties for SERS-based detection. The M-AgNSs are composed of hundreds of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for rapid accumulation and bumpy silver shell for sensitive SERS detection by near-infrared laser excitation.
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We report magnetic silver nanoshells (M-AgNSs) that have both magnetic and SERS properties for SERS-based detection. The M-AgNSs are composed of hundreds of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for rapid accumulation and bumpy silver shell for sensitive SERS detection by near-infrared laser excitation. The intensity of the SERS signal from the M-AgNSs was strong enough to provide single particle-level detection. We obtained much stronger SERS signal intensity from the aggregated M-AgNSs than from the non-aggregated AgNSs. 4-Fluorothiophenol was detected at concentrations as low as 1 nM, which corresponds to 0.16 ppb. The limit of detection for tetramethylthiuram disulfide was 10 μM, which corresponds to 3 ppm. The M-AgNSs can be used to detect trace amounts of organic molecules using a portable Raman system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microgroove and Collagen-poly(ε-caprolactone) Nanofiber Mesh Coating Improves the Mechanical Stability and Osseointegration of Titanium Implants
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 145; doi:10.3390/nano7060145 -
Abstract
The effect of depositing a collagen (CG)-poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) nanofiber mesh (NFM) at the microgrooves of titanium (Ti) on the mechanical stability and osseointegration of the implant with bone was investigated using a rabbit model. Three groups of Ti samples were produced: control Ti
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The effect of depositing a collagen (CG)-poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) nanofiber mesh (NFM) at the microgrooves of titanium (Ti) on the mechanical stability and osseointegration of the implant with bone was investigated using a rabbit model. Three groups of Ti samples were produced: control Ti samples where there were no microgrooves or CG-PCL NFM, groove Ti samples where microgrooves were machined on the circumference of Ti, and groove-NFM Ti samples where CG-PCL NFM was deposited on the machined microgrooves. Each group of Ti samples was implanted in the rabbit femurs for eight weeks. The mechanical stability of the Ti/bone samples were quantified by shear strength from a pullout tension test. Implant osseointegration was evaluated by a histomorphometric analysis of the percentage of bone and connective tissue contact with the implant surface. The bone density around the Ti was measured by micro–computed tomography (μCT) analysis. This study found that the shear strength of groove-NFM Ti/bone samples was significantly higher compared to control and groove Ti/bone samples (p < 0.05) and NFM coating influenced the bone density around Ti samples. In vivo histomorphometric analyses show that bone growth into the Ti surface increased by filling the microgrooves with CG-PCL NFM. The study concludes that a microgroove assisted CG-PCL NFM coating may benefit orthopedic implants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimized Photodynamic Therapy with Multifunctional Cobalt Magnetic Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 144; doi:10.3390/nano7060144 -
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been adopted as a minimally invasive approach for the localized treatment of superficial tumors, representing an improvement in the care of cancer patients. To improve the efficacy of PDT, it is important to first select an optimized nanocarrier and
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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been adopted as a minimally invasive approach for the localized treatment of superficial tumors, representing an improvement in the care of cancer patients. To improve the efficacy of PDT, it is important to first select an optimized nanocarrier and determine the influence of light parameters on the photosensitizing agent. In particular, much more knowledge concerning the importance of fluence and exposure time is required to gain a better understanding of the photodynamic efficacy. In the present study, we synthesized novel folic acid-(FA) and hematoporphyrin (HP)-conjugated multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles (CoFe2O4-HPs-FAs), which were characterized as effective anticancer reagents for PDT, and evaluated the influence of incubation time and light exposure time on the photodynamic anticancer activities of CoFe2O4-HPs-FAs in prostate cancer cells (PC-3 cells). The results indicated that the same fluence at different exposure times resulted in changes in the anticancer activities on PC-3 cells as well as in reactive oxygen species formation. In addition, an increase of the fluence showed an improvement for cell photo-inactivation. Therefore, we have established optimized conditions for new multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles with direct application for improving PDT for cancer patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Study of the BaTiO3 Powder’s Volume Ratio’s Influence on the Output of Composite Piezoelectric Nanogenerator
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 143; doi:10.3390/nano7060143 -
Abstract
The combination of the piezoelectric materials and polymer is an effective way to make the piezoelectric nanogenerator (PENG) possess both the polymer’s good flexibility and ferroelectric material’s high piezoelectric coefficient. The volume ratio of ferroelectric material in the composite is an important factor
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The combination of the piezoelectric materials and polymer is an effective way to make the piezoelectric nanogenerator (PENG) possess both the polymer’s good flexibility and ferroelectric material’s high piezoelectric coefficient. The volume ratio of ferroelectric material in the composite is an important factor that determines the PENG’s output performance. In this paper, the BaTiO3/polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite PENG was demonstrated as having an optimal volume ratio (46%) at which the PENG can output its highest voltage, and this phenomenon can be ascribed to the trade-off between the composite PENG’s top electrode charge and its capacitance. These results are of practical importance for the composite PENG’s performance optimization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Inheritance and Redox Performance of Nanoporous Electrodes from Nanocrystalline Fe85.2B10-14P0-4Cu0.8 Alloys
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 141; doi:10.3390/nano7060141 -
Abstract
Nanoporous electrodes have been fabricated by selectively dissolving the less noble α-Fe crystalline phase from nanocrystalline Fe85.2B14–xPxCu0.8 alloys (x= 0, 2, 4 at.%). The preferential dissolution is triggered by the weaker electrochemical stability
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Nanoporous electrodes have been fabricated by selectively dissolving the less noble α-Fe crystalline phase from nanocrystalline Fe85.2B14–xPxCu0.8 alloys (x= 0, 2, 4 at.%). The preferential dissolution is triggered by the weaker electrochemical stability of α-Fe nanocrystals than amorphous phase. The final nanoporous structure is mainly composed of amorphous residual phase and minor undissolved α-Fe crystals and can be predicted from initial microstructure of nanocrystalline precursor alloys. The structural inheritance is proved by the similarity of the size and outlines between nanopores formed after dealloying in 0.1 M H2SO4 and α-Fe nanocrystals precipitated after annealing of amorphous Fe85.2B14−xPxCu0.8 (x = 0, 2, 4 at.%) alloys. The Redox peak current density of the nanoporous electrodes obtained from nanocrystalline Fe85.2B10P4Cu0.8 alloys is more than one order higher than those of Fe plate electrode and its counterpart nanocrystalline alloys due to the large surface area and nearly-amorphous nature of ligaments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of SERS Substrates for Chemical Sensing
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 142; doi:10.3390/nano7060142 -
Abstract
The SERS effect was initially discovered in the 1970s. Early research focused on understanding the phenomenon and increasing enhancement to achieve single molecule detection. From the mid-1980s to early 1990s, research started to move away from obtaining a fundamental understanding of the phenomenon
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The SERS effect was initially discovered in the 1970s. Early research focused on understanding the phenomenon and increasing enhancement to achieve single molecule detection. From the mid-1980s to early 1990s, research started to move away from obtaining a fundamental understanding of the phenomenon to the exploration of analytical applications. At the same time, significant developments occurred in the field of photonics that led to the advent of inexpensive, robust, compact, field-deployable Raman systems. The 1990s also saw rapid development in nanoscience. This convergence of technologies (photonics and nanoscience) has led to accelerated development of SERS substrates to detect a wide range of chemical and biological analytes. It would be a monumental task to discuss all the different kinds of SERS substrates that have been explored. Likewise, it would be impossible to discuss the use of SERS for both chemical and biological detection. Instead, a review of the most common metallic (Ag, Cu, and Au) SERS substrates for chemical detection only is discussed, as well as SERS substrates that are commercially available. Other issues with SERS for chemical detection have been selectivity, reversibility, and reusability of the substrates. How these issues have been addressed is also discussed in this review. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Facile Synthesis of Flower-Like Copper-Cobalt Sulfide as Binder-Free Faradaic Electrodes for Supercapacitors with Improved Electrochemical Properties
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 140; doi:10.3390/nano7060140 -
Abstract
Supercapacitors have been one of the highest potential candidates for energy storage because of their significant advantages beyond rechargeable batteries in terms of large power density, short recharging time, and long cycle lifespan. In this work, Cu–Co sulfides with uniform flower-like structure have
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Supercapacitors have been one of the highest potential candidates for energy storage because of their significant advantages beyond rechargeable batteries in terms of large power density, short recharging time, and long cycle lifespan. In this work, Cu–Co sulfides with uniform flower-like structure have been successfully obtained via a traditional two-step hydrothermal method. The as-fabricated Cu–Co sulfide vulcanized from precursor (P–Cu–Co sulfide) is able to deliver superior specific capacitance of 592 F g−1 at 1 A g−1 and 518 F g−1 at 10 A g−1 which are surprisingly about 1.44 times and 2.39 times higher than those of Cu–Co oxide electrode, respectively. At the same time, excellent cycling stability of P–Cu–Co sulfide is indicated by 90.4% capacitance retention at high current density of 10 A g−1 after 3000 cycles. Because of the introduction of sulfur during the vulcanization process, these new developed sulfides can get more flexible structure and larger reaction surface area, and will own richer redox reaction sites between the interfaces of active material/electrolyte. The uniform flower-like P–Cu–Co sulfide electrode materials will have more potential alternatives for oxides electrode materials in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biogenic Synthesis of Metal Nanoparticles Using a Biosurfactant Extracted from Corn and Their Antimicrobial Properties
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 139; doi:10.3390/nano7060139 -
Abstract
A new and promising biosurfactant extracted from corn steep liquor has been used for the green synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles (NPs) in a one-step procedure induced by temperature. Most of the biosurfactants proposed in the literature are produced by pathogenic microorganisms;
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A new and promising biosurfactant extracted from corn steep liquor has been used for the green synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles (NPs) in a one-step procedure induced by temperature. Most of the biosurfactants proposed in the literature are produced by pathogenic microorganisms; whereas the biosurfactant used in the current work was extracted from a liquid stream, fermented spontaneously by lactic acid bacteria, which are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) microorganisms. The reduction of a gold precursor in the presence of a biosurfactant gives rise to a mixture of nanospheres and nanoplates with distinct optical features. Moreover, the growth of nanoplates can be promoted by increasing the reaction temperature to 60 °C. In the case of silver, the biosurfactant just induces the formation of pseudo-spherical NPs. The biosurfactant plays a key role in the reduction of the metal precursor, as well as in the stabilization of the resulting NPs. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity of the resulting silver colloids has been analyzed against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. The biosurfactant stabilized NPs slightly increased the inhibition of E. coli in comparison with citrate stabilized Ag NPs. The use of this biosurfactant extracted from corn steep liquor for the synthesis of metal NPs contributes to enhancing the application of green technologies and increasing the utilization of clean, non-toxic and environmentally safe production processes. Therefore, it can help to reduce environmental impact, minimize waste and increase energy efficiency in the field of nanomaterials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designed Synthesis of Nanostructured Magnetic Hydroxyapatite Based Drug Nanocarrier for Anti-Cancer Drug Delivery toward the Treatment of Human Epidermoid Carcinoma
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 138; doi:10.3390/nano7060138 -
Abstract
Superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles on hydroxyapatite nanorod based nanostructures (Fe3O4/HAp) were synthesized using hydrothermal techniques at 180 °C for 12 h and were used as drug delivery nanocarriers for cancer cell therapeutic applications. The synthesized Fe3
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Superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles on hydroxyapatite nanorod based nanostructures (Fe3O4/HAp) were synthesized using hydrothermal techniques at 180 °C for 12 h and were used as drug delivery nanocarriers for cancer cell therapeutic applications. The synthesized Fe3O4/HAp nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)-analysis, and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). The morphologies of the Fe3O4/HAp nanocomposites show 15 nm Fe3O4 nanoparticles dispersed in the form of rods. The BET result shows that the synthesized samples have a high specific surface area of 80 m2 g−1 with mesoporous structures. Magnetic measurements revealed that the sample has high saturation magnetization of 18 emu/g with low coercivity. The Fe3O4/HAp nanocomposites had a large specific surface area (SSA), high mesoporous volume, and good magnetic property, which made it a suitable nanocarrier for targeted drug delivery systems. The chemotherapeutic agent, andrographolide, was used to investigate the drug delivery behavior of the Fe3O4/HAp nanocomposites. The human epidermoid skin cancer cells (A431) were used as the model targeting cell lines by treating with andrographolide loaded Fe3O4/HAp nanosystems and were further evaluated for their antiproliferative activities and the induction of apoptosis. Also, the present nanocomposite shows better biocompatibility, therefore it can be used as suitable drug vehicle for cancer therapy applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Carmine from Aqueous Solution by Carbonated Hydroxyapatite Nanorods
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 137; doi:10.3390/nano7060137 -
Abstract
In this study, carbonated hydroxyapatite (CHA) nanorods were prepared by a novel hydrothermal method. The crystallinity and chemical structure of synthesized CHA nanorods was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. Carmine was
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In this study, carbonated hydroxyapatite (CHA) nanorods were prepared by a novel hydrothermal method. The crystallinity and chemical structure of synthesized CHA nanorods was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. Carmine was selected as representative organic dyes to study the adsorption capacities of CHA nanorods. Mechanistic studies of carmine adsorption by CHA nanorods show that the adsorption processes both follow the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and fit the Langmuir isotherm model well. The CHA nanorods exhibited a high adsorption capacity of 85.51 mg/g for carmine at room-temperature. The experimental results prove that CHA nanorods can be promising absorbents for removing organic dye pollutants in wastewater from paper and textile plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Shaped Ag Nanoparticles in the Plasmonic Layer of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells for Increased Power Conversion Efficiency
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 136; doi:10.3390/nano7060136 -
Abstract
The use of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is widespread owing to their high power conversion efficiency (PCE) and low cost of manufacturing. We prepared multi-shaped Ag nanoparticles (NPs) and introduced them into DSSCs to further enhance their PCE. The maximum absorption wavelength of
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The use of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is widespread owing to their high power conversion efficiency (PCE) and low cost of manufacturing. We prepared multi-shaped Ag nanoparticles (NPs) and introduced them into DSSCs to further enhance their PCE. The maximum absorption wavelength of the multi-shaped Ag NPs is 420 nm, including the shoulder with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 121 nm. This is a broad absorption wavelength compared to spherical Ag NPs, which have a maximum absorption wavelength of 400 nm without the shoulder of 61 nm FWHM. Therefore, when multi-shaped Ag NPs with a broader plasmon-enhanced absorption were coated on a mesoporous TiO2 layer on a layer-by-layer structure in DSSCs, the PCE increased from 8.44% to 10.22%, equivalent to an improvement of 21.09% compared to DSSCs without a plasmonic layer. To confirm the plasmon-enhanced effect on the composite film structure in DSSCs, the PCE of DSSCs based on the composite film structure with multi-shaped Ag NPs increased from 8.58% to 10.34%, equivalent to an improvement of 20.51% compared to DSSCs without a plasmonic layer. This concept can be applied to perovskite solar cells, hybrid solar cells, and other solar cells devices. Full article
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